27 March 2014

By Ken Payne

McCarthy and his disciples probably spent more time pondering the “price” ingredient of the marketing mix than any other variable. After all, it’s the one thing we can, at least in theory, completely control. The product is not selling? Put it on sale! Running low on inventory? Raise the price! It’s much more complicated than that, of course. But you get the idea.

However, our focus when assessing the PR mix should be not so much on the outputs (price), but on the outcomes (cost) of our efforts such as participation, engagement, attitude change, and behavioral goals. Sound familiar?

And with cost comes the value proposition. Was the effort worth the outcome? Did we get what we wanted? Is the company is a better position? Did we engage a customer, or make a friend?

“To ask what the ROI of social media is overall is the wrong question – it’s the right instinct but it’s the wrong question,” notes Scott. It’s like asking what’s the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning you know there is a value to it but it’s hard to quantify, and if you don’t do it there’s consequences.”

Bob and his staff at Prudential also note another interesting trend in their media relations reporting. “More and more of the news we produce through press releases were generating clickable hits on sites like Yahoo and others. For example, if you went onto a brokerage website where they list all our press releases, you could see the traffic it was generating to our other properties.”

“We look very closely to the pull part of the site – who is linking to our content,” Bob continued. “We’re delighted to know that other sites link to our newsroom site – like the American Banker Insurance Association. This is a huge success for our communications program."


  • Consider the strategic goals of your online newsroom as you develop your content plan. If you don’t have a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish, you’re definitely going to have trouble measuring success.

  • Consider allowing comments on your content within the online newsroom. This is, after all, the most precise measurement of stakeholder engagement.

  • Use Twitter to gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and other people who care about your company.

  • Treat suggestions and feedback to your online newsroom like gold it simply means your readers care enough to say something.

  • Social media programs can be a lot more cost efficient from a media budget standpoint, but you still need human capital to run them. Budget accordingly.

  • Be prepared for real-time media, customer and investor feedback to your online newsroom content postings. “Fire-and-forget” died with the faxed press releases.

  • Factor the “risk of ignoring” (ROI) social media into your online newsroom management pitch to overcome objections to transparency, authenticity, and loss of message control. 


Steve Momorella

Online Public Relations
Email: steve@tekgroup.com
Phone: 734-945-7790

Content. Convenience. Collaboration. Cost. It’s a new vocabulary for public relations, and a new way of thinking about marketing your message. At TEKGROUP we know about the 4 Cs of connecting you to your publics via an online newsroom. It’s the only thing we do. For free, no hassle demonstration of our online newsroom software, contact us today at marketing@tekgroup.com, or give us a call at 734-945-7790. 

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